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Budget 2008: No sign of whaling court case despite $2m cost.



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Wed, 14th May 2008

NO SIGN OF WHALING COURT CASE DESPITE $2M COST

The Hon Greg Hunt MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water (to 22 September 2008)

The Rudd Government appears set to drop its anti-whaling court challenge despite new Budget figures showing it has spent at least $2 million trying to gather evidence for the case.

The Budget reveals $1.3 million was spent to deploy the Oceanic Viking ship to take pictures of whaling activity.

It spent a further $700,000 on aerial surveillance that actually found no evidence of any whaling activity.

But there is no sign in the Budget of funding or commitment for the case to be pursued in the International Court of Justice.

In recent days, New Zealand abandoned its plans to take the whaling case to the court.

In Australia, the Prime Minister and his embattled Environment Minister still refuse to fulfil their promise to take this case to the International Court of Justice.

The Budget provides no further funding for surveillance. It provides no specific commitment to pursue the promised court case.

After spending $2 million, the Government now appears set to dump both the surveillance and the court case.